Kay in 2010
|New York Yankees|
|Born: February 2, 1961|
Bronx, New York, U.S.
Michael Neil Kay (born February 2, 1961) is the television play-by-play broadcaster of the New York Yankees and host of CenterStage on the YES Network, and the host of The Michael Kay Show heard on WEPN-FM in New York City (which began being simulcast on the YES Network in February 2014) and simulcast on ESPN Xtra on XM Satellite Radio.
Early life and education
Kay is a native of New York and a nephew of actor Danny Aiello. Kay began reporting as a youth at the Bronx High School of Science and then at Fordham University for WFUV. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Fordham. At Fordham, Kay did not room with New York Knicks announcer Mike Breen.
Kay started his professional career with the New York Post in 1982 as a general assignment writer, with sports-specific assignments to college basketball, the National Basketball Association and the New Jersey Nets coming over time. He received the Yankees' beat writing assignment in 1987.
From 1992-99, he served as MSG's locker room reporter for the New York Knicks. He had previously worked for the network as a contributor on the news-format sports show MSG SportsDesk. Kay left the Daily News to host a sports talk show on WABC in 1992, briefly returning to write "Kay's Korner" for the Daily News in 1993, before taking the microphone job for radio broadcasts of New York Yankee games beside John Sterling.
Announcer for the New York Yankees (1992-present)
Kay spent a decade partnered with Sterling as the radio announcers of the team on WABC from 1992 to 2001. Kay and Sterling also paired together in 1998 for Sports Talk with John Sterling and Michael Kay, a nightly radio show which aired on WABC.
During the baseball season, the duo hosted Yankee Talk, a weekend pre-game radio show. From 1992 to 1993 Kay hosted his own show on WABC. Kay continued during that time as a spot reporter on ABC Radio, doing off-season shows with Sterling and as a fill-in sports reporter on WABC-TV. When ESPN Radio began leasing (and later purchasing) WEVD radio in 2001, Kay was chosen to host a daily radio show on the newly rechristened "1050 ESPN Radio".
When WCBS acquired the radio rights to the Yankees broadcasts in 2002, Kay moved to the debuting YES Network on television and Sterling remained on the radio. Kay has been the Yankees' lead television play-by-play announcer ever since.
Kay has worked with a series of partners on YES, often with three or four different partners in the same season. Most have been former professional players, including Ken Singleton, David Cone, Al Leiter, Paul O'Neill, Jim Kaat, John Flaherty, Joe Girardi, Lou Piniella, and Bobby Murcer. Kay calls approximately 125 games a year for the YES Network and local television affiliates like Pix 11 in New York City.
In 2008, Major League Baseball invited Kay to call the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium during that year's All Star festivities. On September 21, 2008, he joined Jon Miller and Joe Morgan to call the seventh inning of ESPN's broadcast of the final home game at Yankee Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles. According to Miller, Kay was brought in because ESPN felt that they should include the local aspects of broadcasting for the Yankees for this special game, as the YES Network was not allowed to cover the game.
Since the late 1990s, Kay and Sterling have co-emceed such events as the Yankees' annual Old-Timers' Day ceremony as well as players' number retirements, anniversary celebrations for the team's World Series victories, and the City Hall celebrations after Yankees' World Series victories.
Other announcing work
Kay and Sterling also provided play-by-play commentary for Nintendo 64's All-Star Baseball video games from 1999 to 2001. In addition to his Yankees work, Kay has called play-by-play of several postseason games on ESPN Radio, including the 2008 NLDS between the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers, the 2013 ALDS between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics, and Game 3 of the 2016 ALDS between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.
The Michael Kay Show
In 2002, he began hosting a drive-time talk show on WEPN (the former WEVD). The show is now co-hosted by Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg. That same year, he also hosts the YES Network's CenterStage, a sports and entertainment interview-format show.
During baseball season, Kay frequently broadcasts live from the vicinity of the stadium that the Yankees are playing in that evening. (Contractual exclusivity prohibits him from hosting the show from inside Yankee Stadium). From 2009 until 2011, the 6:00 hour had been co-titled New York Baseball Tonight throughout the baseball season. Kay did not usually appear during that hour if he was broadcasting a Yankee game that evening. Don La Greca often hosted this segment and appeared with Kay on the rest of The Michael Kay Show.
When Kay is on the air for the end of his program, he usually signs off with the following: "In the words of Billy Joel, life is a series of hellos and goodbyes, and I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again," before promoting the following program. Kay opened his first ever simulcast on the YES Network on February 3, 2014 by dumping a bottle of Diet Coke into the garbage, a move meant to poke fun of the channel's former occupant Mike Francesa. The canned action was widely criticized.
Kay married television journalist Jodi Applegate on February 12, 2011. Officiating was former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Guests included former Yankees such as Al Leiter, Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill, actor Robert DeNiro, actor Bobby Cannavale, former wrestler Hulk Hogan and actor/uncle Danny Aiello. The couple have two children: a daughter, Caledonia Rose, born on January 5, 2013 and a son, Charles Applegate, born November 12, 2014.
On July 3, 2019, it was revealed that Kay would undergo vocal cord surgery, keeping him out of the broadcasting booth from early July until late August. Kay returned to the booth on August 17, and returned to his radio show on the 26th.
In 2007, Kay was nominated for a number of New York Emmy Awards for his work with the YES Network, both for Yankees broadcasts and for his highly rated interview program Centerstage. Kay won one New York Emmy for his work on the YES Network as part of the team of the NYY broadcast: New York Yankees Baseball “Manny vs. NY – Yankees/Red Sox- 5/24/06.” (YES Network).
In 1998, Kay was on the MSG team that won an Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Coverage—Series. In 1996 and 1997 he was a member of the MSG team that won Emmys for Outstanding Live Sports Coverage—Single Program for Dwight Gooden's no-hitter and The Battle for New York: Yankees vs. Mets, and he was awarded the Dick Young Award for Excellence in Sports Media by the New York Pro Baseball Scouts in 1995, and the award for Best Sports Reporter at the 2000 New York Metro Achievement in Radio Awards.
See ya!— His catchphrase whenever a home run is hit, regardless of team.
Let's do it, here in the Bronx.— His catchphrase whenever Yankees pitchers start the first pitch at the Yankees home games
Let's do it in (opposing ballpark and city names or city nicknames)— His catchphrase whenever opponent pitchers start the first pitch at the road games
High fly ball, deep right, Martinez's back, TRACK, WALL! SEE YA!! He did it in style! He joins the 3000 hit club with a home run! 18,000 men have played major league baseball! Only 29 have had 3,000 hits, and Alex Rodriguez now joins the club!
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- Michael Starr (January 23, 2013) Applegate, Kay proud new parents
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- Fischer, Mark. "Michael Kay has tough realization before Yankees return". nypost.com. NYP HOLDINGS, INC. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
- "And the nominees are..." National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences—New York Chapter. February 8, 2007. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
- "And the winners are..." National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences—New York Chapter. April 1, 2007. Archived from the original (Microsoft Office Word) on September 29, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
- "YES Network announcer bio". web.yesnetwork.com. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
- Anthony Rieber (October 11, 2012) "John Sterling, Michael Kay wish they had trademarked their calls", Newsday.com; accessed March 28, 2018.